At first glance, it looks like a cannonball with a handle. In reality, it is a kettlebell (or girya), a strength training, conditioning and cardio tool that was once the mainstay of Russian weightlifters. Now it is a training tool used in select gyms throughout the country and touted as a one-stop exercise program.
Jenny Rossilli, a speech pathologist and mother of two, was introduced to the kettlebell when she was looking to get in shape after her second child. After taking a class with a friend in the secret service, who uses kettlebells as part of their training regimen, she was hooked. Not one to do things in half measure, Jenny decided that she didn’t only want to train with the kettlebell, she wanted to become certified to instruct others. She traveled to Minnesota, one of the few places in the country that offer certification programs, and became a Certified Russian Kettlebell Instructor (RKC).
Following her training, Jenny and her business partner opened a training studio in Fairfield, NJ. NJ Kettlebells offers both one-time introductory classes and on-going training. According to Rossilli, most women should start with an 18lb weight. While it is possible to do the exercises on your own, she recommends taking at least one introductory class to learn the proper form and technique.
“The kettlebell is an amazing training program. Training only three to four times per week, for about half an hour, will give tremendous results,” says Rossilli. “Unlike traditional training programs, the kettlebell offers cardio, toning, strength training, conditioning and fat burning all in one. It is an efficient, total body workout that anyone can do.” Although “quick feet are happy feet,” quips Rossilli, she has never had an occasion where the kettlebell has slipped out of anyone’s grasp and been launched across the room, but does recommend taking precautions like chalking your hands.
Because it is not high-impact and is low stress to joints, the kettlebell can be used by anyone – both Jenny’s 7 year old daughter and 65 year old mother-in-law train with the kettlebell. Additionally, it is often used as part of physical therapy and rehab for pains and injuries, including the back and rotator cuffs. While the program might need to be modified for certain conditions, most people can benefit from kettlebell training. Individuals with injuries or pre-existing conditions should consult with a physician before beginning the training.
For more information, or a class schedule, visit the NJ Kettlebells website at www.njkettlebells.com.